Bil Browning

We want to pay for you to go to DC and lobby for ENDA!

Filed By Bil Browning | March 05, 2010 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Site News
Tags: employment non-discrimination, ENDA, LGBT rights, Lobby Day, scholarships available

Have we got a deal for you today! We've partnered with PFLAG to send unemployed LGBT people to Washington DC on March 16 to lobby on behalf of ENDA. How do you participate? capital_gay_flag.jpgGlad you asked!

  • Are you unemployed?
  • Did you lose your job because of your sexual orientation or gender identity?
  • Do you live in Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio or West Virginia?

Then send us an e-mail and tell us your story! We can't guarantee that we'll be able to cover travel and hotel costs for everyone who applies, but we'll keep going until we run out of money. Click here for more details. The deadline to apply is tonight at midnight Pacific.

If you'd like to donate to keep this program running, please go to PFLAG's donation page and mark your donation as "For PFLAG's national policy work." So far we've raised almost $2000, but that's not enough to cover everyone who's already applied.

Want to see ENDA passed this year? Then get off your butts and help us spread the word. Add this post to Facebook, Twitter it, blog about it, send it to friends in the targeted states, or donate to keep the project running. We're counting on you to make this a success.

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Margaretpoa Margaretpoa | March 5, 2010 1:26 PM

* Are you unemployed?
* Did you lose your job because of your sexual orientation or gender identity?
On four prior occasions, yes
* Do you live in Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio or West Virginia?
No. Screwed by geography I guess.

From John Aravosis, today:

Lobby Days are here!


Over the next few weeks, a number of gay groups, and individuals, are organizing "lobby days." These are opportunities for the groups' members, and others, to visit congressional offices and lobby congressional staff on the issues of the day.

While I'm loathe to criticize what I'm sure is a worthwhile experience in civics and the benefits of participatory democracy, the dirty little secret in Washington is that lobby days don't really work. At least at the national level they never have. You'd be hard pressed to find an example of a group of citizens coming to town and lobbying congress, and it having any significant effect whatsoever. It's just not the way the system works, unfortunately.

Remarkably, John is now admitting that lobbying in ineffective. When I made that observation on his website I was blocked. Just two weeks ago John was adamant that "lobbying was very effective." Did he change or did somebody LOBBY him?

In the comments after this was posted, John actually said:

"I think, some of us would rather fix HRC than destroy it."

But, John HRC is a lobbying organization. You want to FIX something that "doesn't work." You've outdone yourself, again.


I agree, Andrew, that lobby days don't "work" in the sense that lobby days alone don't get a vote changed. But I do think they are an important element in a coordinated strategy. Lobby days are the carrot, but we also need the stick. After the House vote, we must start targeting direct public action at Reid and the Senate leadership to attach ENDA to another bill.

Amy Hunter Amy Hunter | March 6, 2010 5:30 AM

Here, Here Jillian! and also organize at the local level to let your senators know your wishes. It isn't rocket science to do, but getting people to do it, (esp. transpeople) can be a frustrating endevour. While this public pressure will not work alone, in concert with lobbying and pressure on leadership it could do the trick. Make you SOFFAs' lobby, they can often get a lawmaker to listen when you can't. If you have a local LGBT group, ask them to get local media attention about your efforts and mobilize their contact resources to appeal for help with pressure on your senator. Get the student orgs at the local college or university fired up about it. There are many ways to help instead of giving in to your inner cynic (which I admit to having done)I don't know if I can make lobby day this year but, I am able to pick up the phone!

Dr. Jillian, any thoughts on witch bill we should attach ENDA?

HR3017 does not need to be attached to anything, not that there even is anything to attach it to.

We need;
ENDA out of committee markup, and I expect that in the next few weeks.
We need;
A floor vote scheduled when the Bill is out of ctte, and assuming there are no more changes required
We need;
Speaker of the house to act, move and DO!
Wen need;
All of the readers to call Speaker Pelosi and tell her to move on the Bill - when? Right now !!!!!!!

Everything counts. Have conversations on the plane or in the taxi when you are on your way to DC about why you are going there to support ENDA. Tell your hotel receptionist, I'm here from Alabama because I want equal employment rights and LGBTQ people don't have them. Sorry to pick on Alabama.

I think every affirmative step we take towards our equality and liberation makes a difference. Ripples of hope as Bobby Kennedy said.

Sooner or later everyone will learn that lobbying doesn't work.

Some more evidence:

Gay Politics reports that CA state Rep. Roy Ashburn came out on a Sacramento radio station today. But he says he's going to continue his anti-gay voting ways, because that's what his constituents want.


We can't even lobby a GAY politician to support us because of the polling data demonstrating his constituents beliefs. Until we change those beliefs - something that is NOT part of our movement - we will continue to fail.

John Aravosis nailed it when he called lobbying "Political Masturbation."

Andrew you know we really do get that you believe that lobbying does not work. You have stated it ad nauseum. Every post I see of yours says that. Fine....but what do you believe will work to educate those other people and change minds. My god you have a one track mind if I ever saw one!

We START be understanding lobbying doesn't work and then seek ideas that will. The last few months have demonstrated that lobbying if a waste. The community will now switch to another tactic that doesn't work: direct action.

First, we understand the reality, then we create a new one. I think people are finally understanding.

Meghan Stabler Meghan Stabler | March 10, 2010 8:16 AM


Having just been in DC I completely disagree with you and am tired of listening to you repeat the same defeatist attitude. Come up with alternative actions, go do them and show us how your way IS THE WAY. Until then, we need to visit and tell our stories.